"SO DAVID REIGNED OVER ALL ISRAEL": LARGE ILLUMINATED LEAF FROM A 15TH-CENTURY ITALIAN ANTIPHONAL FEATURING A BEAUTIFUL HAND-COLORED IMAGE OF KING DAVID IN PRAYER
(ILLUMINATED LEAF). Illuminated Leaf from an Antiphonal. Ferrara, Italy, circa 1455-60. Single vellum leaf (6-1/2 by 6 inches), illuminated in gold, black, white, gray, yellow, pink, green, and blue inks; matted, measures 8-3/4 by 8-1/4 inches. $16,500.
Beautiful, oversize illuminated miniature from an Italian Antiphonal, comprising a large, hand-colored image of King David in prayer.
This beautiful illuminated miniature is from an Antiphonal (choirbook) from early 15th-century Ferrara, Italy. The unusually large miniature depicts David kneeling in prayer with God looking down on him. This central image is surrounded by an elaborate arched border including acanthus leaves and burnished gold. The style and color of this leaf place the artist within the Ferrarese tradition of the mid-15th century. There, teams of illuminators worked together to produce some of the most extravagant manuscripts of the period. Artists from Ferrar executed the Bible of Borso d'Este, a high-point of Renaissance manuscript illumination. University of Zurich professor Gaudenz Freuler has identified the artist of this work as the fourth Master of Plutarch's Vitae (Cesena, Biblioteca Malatestiana, S. XV. 2). This leaf bears notably similarities to the Cesena manuscript, including the foreshortened faces, similarly close eyes, and prominent noses of God and David. Verso features two short staves with square notation on a red stave.
Slight rubbing to gilt and unobtrusive creasing. A splendid piece in beautiful condition.